My Neighbor’s Ducks
by Katherine Kehler Share page

Love your neighbor” (Matthew 19:19)

For most of my life, I have lived on acreage. As a child, I grew up on a wonderful sixty-four acre farm with rolling hills and a creek full of trout. For most of our married life, Marvin and I have lived on small farms. We loved it.

When our children were younger, there was a fad among city folks to buy a small farm in the country and keep a few animals. It was a ‘back-to-nature’ kind of thing; however, most of them had no idea that animals require supervision twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

One of the new neighbors bought ducks. The ducks seemed innocent enough; however, they were allowed to run loose in their yard and the neighbors’ yards – including ours. Our cucumber patch was one of their favorite spots to graze. Often we would ‘shoo’ the ducks home and wonder why there wasn’t a fence to keep them in their own yard.

One day I saw my neighbor in her yard and I asked her if she realized her ducks were ruining my garden. She shrugged it off and told me that they were not her ducks, they were her husband’s ducks and he was away traveling. My attitude and response to her was not gracious.

We realized that the neighbors were not planning to build a fence to keep their ducks at home, so we had our son build one to protect our yard. The ducks now stayed in their own yard. I didn’t see my neighbor again until months later. In all that time, my attitude had not improved.

A women’s church group asked me to speak at their mother and daughter banquet. The topic was “Love.” Much to my chagrin, the first woman I saw when I walked into the church was my neighbor. You can imagine the struggle that began within me. I knew I could not speak about love to these women and their daughters when I hadn’t been patient with my neighbor. So with God’s help, I walked up to her and apologized for my attitude and asked her to forgive me. I should have done it months ago. She was gracious and forgiving and I was able to speak with a clean conscience.

Do you have anybody like that in your life? Let me encourage you, if at all possible, to clear the air between you. Ask God to give you the courage to do it now.

Father, You don’t beat around the bush. You are very clear about what you expect of us. Sometimes we don’t like it and it takes us a while to obey. But thankfully, You have given us the Holy Spirit to empower us to do whatever You ask us to do. Thank you! Amen.

Learn more about the Holy Spirit as your Helper

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